Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
A saint abba said:
There was an old hermit whom I visited once when I was exhausted because of the temptations. He was sick and was lying in his bed. After I greeted him, I sat beside him and said:
”Abba, pray for me, because I suffer a lot cause of the devilish temptations.”
Then the old man opened his eyes and said:
”My son, you’re young and God won’t let you be overwhelmed by the awful temptations.”
”Abba, though I’m young, I have temptations and even from very virtuous people”, I said.
Then the old man replied:
”God wants to make you wise.”
”How to make me wise when I face the death of my soul daily?” I asked him.
”What are you saying, my son?” the old man said. ”I told you that God loves you and He will give you His grace.” And he added: ”My son, you know, I have been fighting with the demons for thirty years and during the first twenty years I didn’t see any help from God.” ” When I passed the twenty fifth I started to feel a certain relief which grew bigger and bigger in time.” ”Now, after passing in the thirtieth and this one is almost over by now, the peace is so strongly ingrained in me that I cannot count it or measure it.”
And the old hermit ended by saying these words:
”When I get up for prayer, I utter only three psalms with my mouth and then for three days I stand up ravished out in rapture near God and feel no fatigue.” ”Now you see what immeasurable peace I have got from such a long practicing of patience?”